Washington Post reporter admits Biden ‘stretches the available facts’ about his background, but lets it slide

Washington Post White House reporter Matt Viser admitted that President Joe Biden will "stretch the available facts" about his background and career, but he let them slide because it's part of the president’s skill of connecting with voters.

In his Wednesday Politics column, Viser wrote about the various times Biden has told tall tales about his ethnicity, religious background or his circle of friends to "connect with voters," like the recent incident in which he claimed he was "sort of raised in the Puerto Rican community."

Though Viser seemed fine with these fibs, claiming they are part of "a skill that he needed for much of his career as he sought to cater to small slices of an electorate in a small state."

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He began his piece gently mocking how Biden will pander to diverse audiences, saying, "President Biden, to hear him tell it, is as Greek as Poseidon. He was brought up by both the Puerto Rican community and the Black community. And he’s more Jewish than the Jews."

Viser mentioned a recent instance of this, when Biden, someone who has been billed as a "devout Catholic," told Jewish people attending a White House Rosh Hashanah ceremony, "I probably went to shul more than many of you did. You all think I’m kidding." 

Quoting Biden, Viser wrote, "’I’m a practicing Catholic, but I’d go to services on Saturday and on Sunday,’ he added. Amid the laughter, he again affirmed: ‘You all think I’m kidding. I’m not.’"

The author then noted Biden’s recent claim of Puerto Rican upbringing. He wrote, "And this week, speaking to a group of Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, Biden found kinship with a different culture. ‘I was sort of raised in the Puerto Rican community at home, politically,’ he said."

Characterizing this behavior, the reporter said, "Put Biden in front of a crowd, and he’ll try to connect with it — even if, at times, the connection seems to stretch the available facts." 

Viser added, "When delivering the commencement address for the U.S. Naval Academy, he claimed to have almost attended the school. When he spoke to a group of athletes in Israel, he suggested he came close to trying out as a walk-on in the NFL."

Though the piece presented Biden’s manipulation of the facts as a part of the skills he has been developing throughout his career, stating, "Biden’s search for a connection also shows his approach to ethnic politics, a skill that he needed for much of his career as he sought to cater to small slices of an electorate in a small state."

Viser noted, "And it reflects his role, once he graduated to the national stage, as a glad-handing pol who has visited Little Italy in Cleveland, Chinatown in Los Angeles and Little Havana in Miami."

He then recalled Biden’s insistence during Greek Independence Day 2009 that "I’m an honorary Greek — not only today but every day!" Biden also stated on another occasion, "We haven’t had a Greek in the White House, but now we have Joe Bidenopoulos."

SECRET SERVICE CLAIMS NO DOCUMENTS EXIST DETAILING BIDEN’S DELAWARE VISITORS

Viser said the President's claims are "innocuous," though "Biden has gotten in trouble before for appropriating a British politician’s family story as his own." The reporter described the incident: "During his 1988 presidential campaign, he slightly altered lines Neil Kinnock delivered about his Welsh coal-mining ancestors who would spend hours underground before coming up and playing football."

Though again, Viser noted that these fibs are just a part of "his ability to relate to voters — particularly those grieving or suffering from tragedy," which is "central to his political strength."


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Washington Post White House reporter Matt Viser admitted that President Joe Biden will "stretch the available facts" about his background and career, but he let them slide because it's part of the president’s skill of connecting with voters.

In his Wednesday Politics column, Viser wrote about the various times Biden has told tall tales about his ethnicity, religious background or his circle of friends to "connect with voters," like the recent incident in which he claimed he was "sort of raised in the Puerto Rican community."

Though Viser seemed fine with these fibs, claiming they are part of "a skill that he needed for much of his career as he sought to cater to small slices of an electorate in a small state."

PRESIDENT TO RELEASE 10M BARRELS OF OIL FROM STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE AS OPEC PUSHES PRICES HIGHER

He began his piece gently mocking how Biden will pander to diverse audiences, saying, "President Biden, to hear him tell it, is as Greek as Poseidon. He was brought up by both the Puerto Rican community and the Black community. And he’s more Jewish than the Jews."

Viser mentioned a recent instance of this, when Biden, someone who has been billed as a "devout Catholic," told Jewish people attending a White House Rosh Hashanah ceremony, "I probably went to shul more than many of you did. You all think I’m kidding." 

Quoting Biden, Viser wrote, "’I’m a practicing Catholic, but I’d go to services on Saturday and on Sunday,’ he added. Amid the laughter, he again affirmed: ‘You all think I’m kidding. I’m not.’"

The author then noted Biden’s recent claim of Puerto Rican upbringing. He wrote, "And this week, speaking to a group of Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, Biden found kinship with a different culture. ‘I was sort of raised in the Puerto Rican community at home, politically,’ he said."

Characterizing this behavior, the reporter said, "Put Biden in front of a crowd, and he’ll try to connect with it — even if, at times, the connection seems to stretch the available facts." 

Viser added, "When delivering the commencement address for the U.S. Naval Academy, he claimed to have almost attended the school. When he spoke to a group of athletes in Israel, he suggested he came close to trying out as a walk-on in the NFL."

Though the piece presented Biden’s manipulation of the facts as a part of the skills he has been developing throughout his career, stating, "Biden’s search for a connection also shows his approach to ethnic politics, a skill that he needed for much of his career as he sought to cater to small slices of an electorate in a small state."

Viser noted, "And it reflects his role, once he graduated to the national stage, as a glad-handing pol who has visited Little Italy in Cleveland, Chinatown in Los Angeles and Little Havana in Miami."

He then recalled Biden’s insistence during Greek Independence Day 2009 that "I’m an honorary Greek — not only today but every day!" Biden also stated on another occasion, "We haven’t had a Greek in the White House, but now we have Joe Bidenopoulos."

SECRET SERVICE CLAIMS NO DOCUMENTS EXIST DETAILING BIDEN’S DELAWARE VISITORS

Viser said the President's claims are "innocuous," though "Biden has gotten in trouble before for appropriating a British politician’s family story as his own." The reporter described the incident: "During his 1988 presidential campaign, he slightly altered lines Neil Kinnock delivered about his Welsh coal-mining ancestors who would spend hours underground before coming up and playing football."

Though again, Viser noted that these fibs are just a part of "his ability to relate to voters — particularly those grieving or suffering from tragedy," which is "central to his political strength."

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